Chief Master Sergeant KAREN "LIZ" FETHERSTON

Chief Master Sergeant Karen Fetherston is the Command Chief for the 20th Fighter Wing, Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina. She advises the commander on matters influencing the readiness, training, education, and resiliency of 6,576 active duty Airmen and civilians and more than 8,000 family members. Further, she supervises the support of the 31,000 local military retirees and 29 geographically separated units across nine states. The wing’s mission is to sustain operational suppression of enemy air defenses by way of the three F-16 Fighting Falcon units for a 79 aircraft fleet worth $1.7B to ensure combat readiness to deploy, employ, and sustain air superiority.

Chief Fetherston enlisted in the Air Force in March of 1997 and served in a variety of positions. As a military training leader, she managed the discipline, morale, welfare and housing of 3,500 airmen annually. Chief Fetherston has led at the group level, as superintendent of Wing Staff  Agencies where she advised the commander on all enlisted issues concerning discipline, health, morale, welfare, and mentorship of approximately 200 airmen. As the 1C3 MAJCOM Functional Manager, Chief Fetherston oversaw the manning requirements of five wings. She developed, implemented, and evaluated combat and control policy effecting 91 authorizations within Air Force Space Command. As the 36th Operations Group Superintendent and Command Chief of the 388th Fighter Wing, she also led 2,100 enlisted airmen and expeditionary squadrons to provide multiple diverse U.S. based lethal warfighting platforms for the deployment, reception, and throughput of air and spaces forces in the INDO-Pacific and Southeast Asia region.

1997 Command And Control Apprentice Course, Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi
1998 United States Air Forces in Europe Nuclear Command and Control Course, Ramstein Air Base, Germany
2001 Airman Leadership School, Hurlburt Field, Florida
2003 Associate of Applied Science Degree in Information Systems Management, Community College of the Air Force, Montgomery, Alabama by correspondence
2006 Military Training Leader Course, Lackland AFB, Texas
2007 Noncommissioned Officer Academy, Lackland AFB, Texas
2008 Associate of Applied Science Degree in Education and Training Management, CCAF, Montgomery, Alabama by correspondence
2009 Senior Enlisted Joint Professional Military Education, National Defense University, Washington, D.C., by correspondence
2012 Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy, Gunter Annex-Maxwell AFB, Alabama
2013 Bachelor of Arts Degree in Emergency/Disaster Management, American Military University, Charles Town, West Virginia
2016 Joint Nuclear Command and Control Course, Offutt AFB, Nebraska
2020 Senior Enlisted Joint Leader Professional Military Education II Course, National Defense University, Washington, D.C., by correspondence
2021 Emerging Technologies Seminar, Alan L. Freed Associates, Old Town Alexandria, Virginia
2021 Masters Degree, Human Resources Management, American Military University
2021 Leading Strategically, CCL Campus, Colorado Springs, CO

1. March 1997-April 1997 Trainee, 320th Training Squadron, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas
2. April 1997-August 1997 Student, 334th Training Squadron, Keesler AFB, Mississippi
3. August 1997-August 2000 Emergency Actions Controller, 31st Fighter Wing, Aviano Air Base, Italy
4. August 2000-August 2006 Noncommissioned Officer-in-charge, Operations Reports & Analysis, 
Headquarters Air Force Special Operations Command, Hurlburt Field, Florida
5. August 2006-October 2008 Asst. Flight Chief, Military Training, 344th Training Squadron, Lackland AFB, Texas
6. October 2008-August 2010 Flight Chief, Military Training, 345th Training Squadron, Lackland AFB, Texas
7. August 2010-June 2013 Superintendent, Hill Command Post, Hill AFB, Utah
(September 2011-March 2012 Superintendent, Command Post, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing, Al Dhafra AB, UAE)
8. June 2013-June 2016 Superintendent, Aviano Command Post, 31st Fighter Wing, Aviano AB, Italy
9. October 2015-June 2016 Superintendent, Wing Staff Agencies, 31st Fighter Wing, Aviano AB, Italy
10. July 2016-June 2017 Superintendent, Minot Command Post, Minot AFB, North Dakota
11. June 2017-August 2018 Command and Control Operations Functional Manager, Air Force Space Command, Peterson AFB, Colorado
12. September 2018-May 2020 Superintendent, 36th Operations Group, Andersen AFB, Guam
13. May 2020-November 2021 Command Chief, 388th Fighter Wing, Hill AFB, Utah
14. November 2021-Present Command Chief, 20th Fighter Wing, Shaw AFB, South Carolina

Air Force Legion of Merit Medal
Air Force Meritorious Service Medal with five oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Force Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster
Combat Readiness Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Recognition Ribbon with oak leaf cluster Humanitarian Service Medal
Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal with “N” device and oak leaf cluster
1997 United States Air Forces in Europe Command and Control School Top Team Award
2004 Air Force Special Operations Command Air Operations Noncommissioned Officer of the Year
2007 Noncommissioned Officer Academy Distinguished Graduate
2007 344th Training Squadron Military Training Leader of the Year
2009 United States Air Force Military Training Leader of the Year
2011 75th Air Base Wing Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year
2012 Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy Distinguished Graduate
2013 Aviano Air Base Command Post Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year
2013 Aviano AB Command Post Command and Control Operations Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year
2015 31st Fighter Wing Staff Agency Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year
2015 USAFE Command Post Unit Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year
2015 USAF Command Post Unit Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year

Chief Master Sergeant Feb. 1, 2017


(Current as of November 2021)